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DYLAN THOMAS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/20/1937 - HFSID 176152

DYLAN THOMAS. Important ALS: "Dylan Thomas," 1½p, 7¼x10, front and verso. Marston, Bishopston, Glamorgan (Wales),1937 September 20.The 23-year-old Welsh poet writes to Mr. Byron.

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DYLAN THOMAS. Important ALS: "Dylan Thomas," 1½p, 7¼x10, front and verso. Marston, Bishopston, Glamorgan (Wales),1937 September 20.The 23-year-old Welsh poet writes to Mr. Byron. In full: "Miss Edith Sitwell, who had, during the last month or two, since she heard of my present bad and embarrassing position, very kindly been trying to put some work my way, and arrange for me to meet people, wrote today, said that she had already talked to you, gave me your address, and asked me to get in touch with you immediately. Her letter was necessarily vague - as she said she knew very little about the kind of work you might, from time to time, have to dispense, and, as she also quoted you saying that a cursory glance round 'your world' doesn't reveal any jobs at the moment - and I'm afraid I haven't got anything very coherent to say either, I know nothing, of course, of what Miss Sitwell has told you, whether she explained how really very important it is that I have some work to do during the winter, or even of she mentioned that my present difficulties weren't just trivial and temporary but as urgent as they could be. I realize you can't be expected to feel very deeply about this, but it's grave to me and I've almost reached the state when I expect every single body to know every detail of my living troubles. Miss Sitwell told me to ask you if I should come to London to meet you, or, rather, if you could arrange to see me. If I do come to London, I hope a meeting will be possible, as I find it extremely difficult to travel at all, even to look around for some work. And I hope you don't mind this vague and, perhaps, over-personal letter." Stain at top of page was there when Thomas wrote this letter as is evident by his going to the next line to avoid writing in that area on the second page. Dame Edith Sitwell, poet, critic, and novelist known for her formidable personality and her Elizabethan dress, was the daughter of author Sir George Sitwell, 4th Baronet Sitwell. She was a staunch supporter of Thomas' works. Most probably written to Robert Byron (1905-1941) who was a successful English writer on travel and architecture. By this time, Thomas had published his Eighteen Poems (1934) and Twenty Five Poems (1931). He also had a variety of jobs as a journalist, but his drinking interrupted his work (which may be the cause of the "embarrassing position" to which he alludes in this letter). Thomas died at the age of 39 while on a reading tour in New York City in 1953 as a result of an accidental overdose of liquor. Usual folds, one between the "l" and "a" in Dylan, else fine.

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